Author(s): William Shakespeare
This is the first of Shakespeare's four plays about the Wars of the Roses, dramatizing the rivalry between power-hungry noble houses, divided by grievances inherited from the past. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited by Norman Sanders with an introduction by Jane Kingsley-Smith. 'Send between the red rose and the white A thousand souls to death and deadly night'. After the death of Henry V, the French revolt and threaten to reclaim their country from English rule. Guided by his Lord Protector, the young King Henry VI journeys to Paris to reaffirm his rule over France. But while the British battle Joan of Arc abroad, discontent is also breeding at home between the two ancient Houses of York and Lancaster. This book contains a general introduction to Shakespeare's life and Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to the play, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay by Rebecca Brown discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary. Shakespeare's first tetralogy, about the Wars of the Roses, is continued by Henry VI, Parts II and III, and Richard III, all available in Penguin Classics.
William Shakespeare was born in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon and died in 1616. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. Stanley Wells is Emeritus Professor of the University of Birmingham and Honorary President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Jane Kingsley-Smith is Reader in English Literature at the University of Roehampton.